David F. Sandberg has confirmed that he’s directing Shazam! as part of Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe. About three years ago, the studio announced their first series of DCEU movies that would follow Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, with each of them focusing on another main Justice League member: Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), as well as Shazam (formerly known as Captain Marvel) and the Green Lantern Corps. However, the latter two movies would focus on characters that weren’t confirmed to appear in Snyder’s upcoming Justice League film.
So far, that slate has been altered numerous times, with The Flash having gone through multiple directors and scripts, and has since been removed from the studio’s 2018 schedule, along with Ben Affleck having been previously confirmed to write and direct The Batman, a standalone Batman film that he’s no longer directing. There’s also the fact that Snyder has temporarily departed Justice League following a personal tragedy, thereby leaving Joss Whedon in charge of the movie’s reshoots. Despite all of these productions being marred by various events, one movie that has apparently been going quite smoothly that people haven’t heard much about is Shazam!.
This morning, news broke that Shazam! will be entering production early next year, with Lights Out director David F. Sandberg reportedly helming the hotly anticipated production. Sandberg is promoting his upcoming horror film, Annabelle: Creation, at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 this week, and during an appearance on IMDb’s show, host Kevin Smith questioned the director about the rumors, to which Sandberg responded, “Shazam!.” Sandberg confirmed his involvement with the movie, saying that he spoke with DC Films president Geoff Johns and New Line Cinema about the gig; he also said that he’s “very happy” with the script and that everything is “coming along pretty well.”
Shortly after the movie’s announcement in 2014, Dwayne Johnson confirmed that he had been cast in the role of Black Adam, whose Billy Batson’s, aka Shazam’s, perennial arch-nemesis. It has been three years, and that’s all anyone has heard about the project, until today. Although Johnson reportedly won’t be appearing in the Shazam movie, and will instead be headlining his own Black Adam film, there’s still the possibility that he’ll appear in a future mash-up film between the characters – or, possibly, a Shazam! sequel.
Now that Shazam! appears to be moving forward, the next question on fans’ minds is, who’s going to play Billy Batson and who will be playing his adult counterpart, Shazam? Perhaps we’ll get an official casting announcement during the studio’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday. Last year, all of the confirmed DCEU directors showed up on stage during the studio’s panel at SDCC. While that lineup has changed since then – with Affleck and Rick Famuyiwa no longer directing The Batman and The Flash, respectively – perhaps we’ll see Sandberg appear on stage during this year’s panel, where he could officially re-announce his involvement as well as the movie’s cast.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Justice League release date: Nov 17, 2017
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Cyborg release date: Apr 3, 2020
Green Lantern Corps. release date: Jul 24, 2020